Jon Rahm claims second major crown with four-stroke Masters triumph

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The 2021 US Open champion, who had four-putted the first hole on Thursday, carded a closing 69 to finish 12 under par.
Posted on
April 9, 2023
The Editorial Team in ,
Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
Jon Rahm
Jon Rahm celebrates on the 18th green after wining the Masters (Jae C. Hong/AP)

Jon Rahm held off an unlikely challenge from Phil Mickelson as he powered to his second major title in the 87th Masters.

Forty years after the late Seve Ballesteros won his second Masters title and on what would have been his 66th birthday, Rahm became the fourth Spanish winner at Augusta National after Ballesteros, Jose Maria Olazabal and Sergio Garcia.

The 2021 US Open champion, who had four-putted the first hole on Thursday, carded a closing 69 to finish 12 under par, four shots clear of Mickelson and long-time leader Brooks Koepka.

Koepka struggled to a final round of 75 and it was Mickelson who put the most pressure on Rahm with a brilliant 65 to equal his lowest score at Augusta, his other coming in the first round 27 years ago.

Mickelson’s late charge came on the back of just two top-20 finishes from 10 LIV Golf events, which only have a 48-man field.

And it also came a year after he sat out the Masters following the fall-out from his explosive comments about the Saudi-funded breakaway and the PGA Tour, with chairman Fred Ridley forced to deny the 52-year-old had been disinvited.

Rahm began the day four shots behind Koepka, but had cut that gap in half by the time the pair had completed their delayed third rounds on Sunday morning, both men shooting 73.

Jon Rahm
Jon Rahm celebrates after a putt on the sixth hole during the final round of the Masters (Charlie Riedel/AP)

Reunited almost three hours later for round four, the final pair got off to a nervous start and Koepka’s pulled opening tee shot was so far wide that he played his second from the ninth fairway.

The four-time major winner hit a superb recovery shot over the trees and safely made par as Rahm had to hole from eight feet for his after missing the green and catching the edge of the hole with his chip.

Rahm birdied the third and with Koepka unable to save par from a greenside bunker on the par-three fourth, they were tied for the lead and seemingly back in a two-horse race as Viktor Hovland took four to get down from just over the sixth green.

The same hole also cost Koepka a second bogey in the space of three holes to leave Rahm in the outright lead, a remarkable turn of events given that he started the week with a six on the opening hole.

The only player to win the Masters after starting with a double bogey was Sam Snead in 1952.

Rahm doubled his advantage with a birdie on the par-five eighth, the world number three hitting a sublime pitch from the front of the green to tap-in distance.

A bogey on the ninth dropped him back to 10 under and gave hope to the chasing pack, Mickelson making five birdies in his last seven holes to set the target on eight under in a bid to break his own record as the game’s oldest major champion.

“To come out today and play the way I did and hit the shots when I needed, it’s so much fun,” Mickelson said. “I’m grateful to be a part of this tournament and to be here competing and then to play well, it means a lot.”

Mickelson was reluctant to say more as Rahm still had plenty of danger to navigate, but birdies on the 13th and 14th – the latter from close range after a superb approach – gave Rahm more than enough breathing space.

Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson reacts on the 18th hole after a final round of 65 in the Masters (David J. Phillip/AP)

Jordan Spieth had also reached eight under with his ninth birdie of the day on the 17th, only to bogey the last and card a 66 to share fourth place with Patrick Reed and Russell Henley.

“When you’re that far back, you have to have everything go right. It was close, but I should have done a lot better in those first three rounds,” Spieth said.

“I made a tremendous amount of mental mistakes. To be this close now, it’s nice, but it also almost frustrates me more because I made some mistakes I don’t normally make out here.”

Koepka enjoyed a four-shot lead overnight, but had been facing a par putt on the seventh green when play was suspended on Saturday afternoon, with Rahm closer to the hole in two.

Koepka missed and Rahm holed from nine feet to halve his deficit before the pair traded bogeys on the 12th and 13th. Rahm’s bogey on the 16th left him three behind, only for Koepka to three-putt the 17th from just 24 feet.

Pos.PlayerTo ParR1R2R3R4Total
1Jon Rahm-1265697369276
T2Phil Mickelson-871697565280
T2Brooks Koepka-865677375280
T4Jordan Spieth-769707666281
T4Patrick Reed-771707268281
T4Russell Henley-773677170281
T7Cameron Young-667727568282
T7Viktor Hovland-665737074282
9Sahith Theegala-573707367283
T10Matthew Fitzpatrick-470727270284
T10Scottie Scheffler-468757170284
T10Xander Schauffele-468747171284
T10Collin Morikawa-469697472284
T14Gary Woodland-368727372285
T14Patrick Cantlay-371716875285
T16Tom Kim-270727470286
T16Sungjae Im-271766772286
T16Joaquin Niemann-271697472286
T16Shane Lowry-268727373286
T16Justin Rose-269717373286
T16Sam Bennett(a)-268687674286
T16Hideki Matsuyama-271707075286
T23Keegan Bradley-170727471287
T23Chris Kirk-170747271287
T23K.H. Lee-174677472287
T26Tony FinauPar69747372288
T26Scott StallingsPar70776972288
T26Ryan FoxPar70717473288
T29Sam Burns+168717872289
T29Si Woo Kim+173727272289
T29Harold Varner III+172717670289
T29Mackenzie Hughes+176697470289
33Tommy Fleetwood+372717474291
T34Tyrrell Hatton+471737276292
T34Cameron Smith+470727575292
T34Zach Johnson+475707473292
T34Talor Gooch+472747373292
T34J.T. Poston+474727670292
T39Taylor Moore+573727078293
T39Abraham Ancer+572717476293
T39Adam Scott+568747774293
T39Jason Day+567727480293
T43Max Homa+671737278294
T43Harris English+671717775294
T43Mito Pereira+674707773294
T46Sepp Straka+770737478295
T46Seamus Power+773727377295
T48Thomas Pieters+874737277296
T48Dustin Johnson+871727875296
T50Charl Schwartzel+974737377297
T50Fred Couples+971747676297
52Billy Horschel+1273747479300
53Keith Mitchell+1475717779302
CUTBryson DeChambeau+47474--148
CUTFrancesco Molinari+47276--148
CUTTom Hoge+47474--148
CUTMike Weir+47276--148
CUTJustin Thomas+47078--148
CUTBen Carr(a)+57574--149
CUTBernhard Langer+57574--149
CUTRory McIlroy+57277--149
CUTKevin Kisner+57277--149
CUTAdrian Meronk+57376--149
CUTCameron Champ+67674--150
CUTDanny Willett+67575--150
CUTVijay Singh+67575--150
CUTMin Woo Lee+67575--150
CUTKazuki Higa+67674--150
CUTAldrich Potgieter(a)+77774--151
CUTBrian Harman+77774--151
CUTMatthew McClean(a)+77774--151
CUTSergio Garcia+77477--151
CUTMateo Fernandez de Oliveira(a)+77675--151
CUTCorey Conners+87379--152
CUTJason Kokrak+87379--152
CUTHarrison Crowe(a)+87577--152
CUTKurt Kitayama+87577--152
CUTGordon Sargent(a)+97776--153
CUTAlex Noren+97875--153
CUTBubba Watson+97776--153
CUTJose Maria Olazabal+107777--154
CUTAdam Svensson+117580--155
CUTLarry Mize+157980--159
CUTSandy Lyle+208183--164
W/DTiger Woods-7473--147
W/DKevin Na------
W/DLouis Oosthuizen-76---76
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